But the Lord encourages us: in his eyes, our littleness is of infinite value. So let us take heart: we were born to be loved; we were born to be children of God.
Following an ancient Ash Wednesday tradition, Pope Francis began with silent prayer at the church of Sant’Anselmo before leading a penitential procession to the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill where he celebrated Mass and received the imposition of ashes.
Cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, friars, and laity process the short path between the two churches, singing the Litany of the Saints. The tradition of this pilgrimage dates back to the early fourth century.
Here is the pope’s homily from the Mass, in which he emphasized hope, and the cleansing that comes from the Sacrament of Confession.
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